Woodbury’s campaign to cut down on water waste by irrigation is moving to homeowners.

The city is partnering with the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) on a pilot program to see how well smart controllers might work in single-family homes.

Officials are offering dozens of free Rachio IRO controllers to single-family homeowners in Woodbury who now use clock-based water controllers.

Certain system requirements must be met in order to be eligible. The controllers will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis while they last.

Woodbury has made water conservation a major priority out of concerns that state regulators may not let the city continue to drill more wells as it grows.

It already has worked on irrigation devices with commercial users.

For more information, go to ci.woodbury.mn.us/environment/water-conservation/irrigation-pilot-program or call 651-714-3483.

David Peterson


Riverway awarded ‘Active Trails’ grant

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is one of 25 national parks selected to receive a 2016 “Active Trails” grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. Now in its eighth year, the program supports healthy living by getting people out and active in national parks through projects promoting recreation and exercise.

“These paddle programs are great ways for local communities to discover the recreational opportunities available on the St. Croix and Namekagon [rivers],” said Julie Galonska, acting superintendent of the Riverway.

Canoeing and kayaking activities on the St. Croix have been promoted in recent years, particularly through the St. Croix River association’s summer paddling expeditions.

Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted more than $3.35 million through its Active Trails program. As of early 2015, Active Trails has engaged more than 12,000 volunteers and 740 project partners.

The entire list of the 2016 Active Trails recipients can be found at http://www.nationalparks.org/our-work/programs/active-trails.

Kevin Giles


Schwerm lauded for decades of progress

The League of Minnesota Cities gave Shoreview City Manager Terry Schwerm its highest honor for appointed city officials.

The James F. Miller Leadership Award for 2016 comes after Schwerm’s 23 years at his post.

“Schwerm has overseen major renovations in the city’s parks and a multimillion dollar expansion and renovation of the city’s Community Center,” according to the League.

“He has also been involved in development of a comprehensive trail system, which has served as a major attraction and amenity for residents of all of Ramsey County.”

Shoreview is one of the smallest cities in Minnesota to get a AAA bond rating, which it has received consistently from Standard & Poor’s.

David Peterson


Workers wanted to ‘barn raise’ playground

Roseville is seeking volunteers to help build a playground in a city park.

In the manner of communal “barn raisings,” where neighbors once helped pioneer farmers, the city’s parks department is asking for volunteers to turn up next month at Mapleview Park.

Participants would help “dig, drill, lift, organize and build” the playground, officials say.

They’re seeking groups, individuals and families, and offering roles to folks of any age.

Trained supervisors will lead the work.

In return for volunteer help to cover labor, the city will receive credits toward additional playground equipment.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 9 at Mapleview Park, 2917 Matilda St.

For more information, contact volunteer coordinator Kelly O’Brien at kelly.obrien@cityofroseville.com or 651-792-7028.

david peterson

Marine on St. Croix

Pontoon Parade to mark July 4th holiday

Marine on St. Croix is celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service and the 240th birthday of the nation with an evening Pontoon Parade on the St. Croix River.

The parade begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, and participants should line up near Greenburg Island, north of the marina. No pre-registration is required. Prizes will be awarded to the most festively decorated pontoons.

Staff report